The Westchester Mom’s Guide to Summer Reading

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summer reading

Summer is approaching, and whether your kids are at home, at camp, or on vacation for the summer, it’s so important that they keep reading while on break to avoid the “Summer Slump.” Summer reading should not be a stress on you or your kid(s).  Hopefully, we all can enjoy this break from our hectic school year routines, introduce a lot more relaxation, and learn at a fun, leisurely pace. Before we know it, fall will be here.

Here is our guide to everything you need to know about summer reading. It’s organized in a way so you can easily find whichever summer reading program best fits your family. There’s such an abundance of free and low-cost program options locally and online. So just browse through, bookmark, and refer to this guide whenever you need ideas.

WC Mom Blog Book Picks

We thought we would start this guide off with some book picks from our kids:

These are some great reads, and I thank all of our contributors’ kids for making their recommendations!

Library Summer Reading Incentives

Throughout the month of June, summer reading incentive programs are kicking off in most of the libraries in Westchester. If you miss the kick off event, sign up is ongoing. Visit your local public library to find out what giveaways they have in store for kids that reach their summer reading goals. I have included a directory of all of the local libraries and a link to their websites and summer reading programs at the end of this post.

Many of the libraries have separate reading incentives or games for teens, and hopefully our teens don’t feel too “cool” to participate, but we can try to entice them. Even for my kids that have always loved the library, it takes creativity to get them through the doors these days.

Summer Reading Buddies

Summer Reading Buddies is a JCY – Westchester Community Partners learning initiative where volunteers read with children one-on-one or in small groups. They help students complete their summer reading assignments and avoid the loss of academic skills during the summer months. This year, the program will meet in two Westchester public libraries as follows:

Tuesdays & Wednesdays

July 10 – August 15
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
The Riverfront Library
1 Larkin Center
Yonkers, NY 10701
 

Fridays

July 13 – August 17
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Ossining Public Library
53 Croton Ave
Ossining, NY 10562
 

Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program

The Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program is for kids in grades 1 through 6. They must read eight books, record them in their Summer Reading Journal, share which part of the book is their favorite, and explain why. They have until September 3rd to return their completed journals to a Barnes & Noble store and will be able to choose one free book from the list of books on their journals.

 You can download the summer reading journal in either English or Spanish.

 Find your nearest Barnes & Nobles store here

Chuck E. Cheese Reading Rewards 

Some moms are probably cringing as they consider having to actually enter Chuck E. Cheese this summer. I must admit to having a love-hate relationship with the place myself. But if you are looking to get your child motivated and excited about reading this summer, Chuck E. Cheese’s reading reward calendar is worth a shot. If your child reads a book a day for two weeks, he or she can redeem 10 free tokens. And at Chuck E. Cheese your 10 tokens goes further than most other children’s arcades.
 
You can download the reading rewards calendar in either English or Spanish.
 

At-Home Summer Reading

8 Tips for Motivating Reluctant Readers is a must read if you want to get your child reading at home this summer when he or she is disinclined to do so unaided. Summer is a great time to ease into better habits and ease into a love of reading before the hustle and bustle of the school year begins.

Interactive Online Literacy Programs

Whether you are at home or away on vacation, there are some great resources that can get your kids reading as long as you have internet access:

  • As part of Summer Reading at New York Libraries, the State Education Department and myON are partnering to bring thousands of enhanced digital books to children from birth through 8th grade and their families all around the state until September. Instructions for how to access this amazing resource comes in both English and Spanish.
  • If you are a Westchester Public Library card holder, you can access ABC Mouse for free in the library and at home. However, you will need to know your library card number and your library pin number in order to access this free service.
  • DayByDayNY is a free website for young children and their families. It is part of the New York State Library early literacy initiative. Each day, there is a new story, song, and activities that even  families with limited time can enjoy.
  • Tumblebooks has digital picture books, quizzes and educational games that you can access free as a Westchester Public Library card holder. You can download the app on any mobile device, enter your library number, and explore.
  • Starfall is a fun free (limited access) to low-cost ELA and Math program with games and activities for kids in pre-K to grade 2.
  • No Red Ink is a free program that is very new to us, but our oldest really enjoys using it in school. It collects students interests in order to test their knowledge of ELA using questions that really engage them.
  • IXL is probably the least fun of the bunch, since it is more of a “test” than the other sites mentioned. However, it is extremely useful for parents (and students) that are trying to gauge where their child fares in regards to grade level NY Common Core skills (grades K-12).

Mom’s Summer Reading

Last year, Westchester County Moms Blog launched our online book club, Mom’s the Word; you do not have to be a mom or live in Westchester to join. We wanted to create a convenient space to socialize and read at your own pace. Every month, we vote on our next read, and post discussion questions every week to get the conversation going. For June, we chose An American Marriage by Tayari Jones.

To read more about this book club and how to join us, check out this blog post. Click here to join the group.

Next, you will find a directory of bookstores and libraries (in alphabetical order by town) throughout Westchester County where can you find your next read and attend some amazing summer reading events:

Independent Bookstores

Womrath Bookshop
76 Pondfield Road
BronxvilleNY 10708

29 King Street
Chappaqua, NY 10514
 
35 N Riverside Avenue
Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520
 
22 Main Street
Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706
 
Anderson’s Book Shop
96 Chatsworth Avenue
Larchmont, NY 10538
 
The Voracious Reader
1997 Palmer Avenue
Larchmont, NY 10538 
 
Modern Myths (Comic Books)
822 Mamaroneck Avenue
Mamaroneck, NY 10543
 

Bruised Apple Books and Music
923 Central Avenue
Peekskill, NY 10566

10 Washington Ave
Pleasantville, NY 10570
 

Westchester Public Libraries 

Ardsley Public Library: 9 American Legion Drive, Ardsley, NY 10502

North Castle Public Library: 19 Whippoorwill Road East, Armonk, NY 10504

North White Plains Branch: 10 Clove Road, North White Plains, NY 10603

Bedford Free Library: Village Green, Bedford, NY 10506  

Bedford Hills Free Library: 26 Main Street, Bedford Hills, NY 10507

Briarcliff Manor Public Library: Library Road, Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510

Bronxville Public Library: 201 Pondfield Road, Bronxville, NY 10708

Chappaqua Library: 195 South Greeley Avenue, Chappaqua, NY 10514

Croton Free Library: 171 Cleveland Drive, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520

Dobbs Ferry Public Library: 55 Main Street, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522

Eastchester Public Library: 11 Oak Ridge Place, Eastchester, NY 10709

Greenburgh Public Library: 300 Tarrytown Road, Elmsford, NY 10523

Harrison Public Library: Bruce Avenue, Harrison, NY 10528

West Harrison Branch Library: 2 East Madison Street, West Harrison, NY 10604

Hastings-on-Hudson Public Library: Maple Avenue, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706

Irvington Public Library: 12 South Astor Street, Irvington-on-Hudson, NY 10533

Katonah Village Library: 26 Bedford Road (Route 117), Katonah, NY 10536

Larchmont Public Library: 121 Larchmont Avenue, Larchmont, NY 10538

Mamaroneck Public Library District: 136 Prospect Avenue, Mamaroneck, NY 10543

Hendrick Hudson Free Library: 185 Kings Ferry Road, Montrose, NY 10548

Mount Kisco Public Library: 100 Main Street, Mount Kisco, NY 10549

Mount Pleasant Public Library: 350 Bedford Road, Pleasantville, NY 10570

Mount Pleasant Branch Library: 125 Lozza Drive, Valhalla, NY 10595

Mount Vernon Public Library: 28 South First Avenue, Mount Vernon, NY 10550

New Rochelle Public Library: One Library Plaza, New Rochelle, NY 10801

Huguenot Children’s Library: 794 North Avenue, New Rochelle, NY 10804

Ruth Keeler Memorial Library276 Titicus Road (Route 116), North Salem, NY 10560

Ossining Public Library: 53 Croton Avenue, Ossining, NY 10562

The Field Library: 4 Nelson Avenue, Peekskill, NY 10566

Town of Pelham Public Library: 530 Colonial Avenue, Pelham, NY 10803

Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library: 1 Haseco Avenue, Port Chester, NY 10573

Pound Ridge Library District: 271 Westchester Avenue, Pound Ridge, NY 10576

Purchase Free Library: 3093 Purchase Street, Purchase, NY 10577

Summer Reading Program

Rye Free Reading Room: 1061 Boston Post Road, Rye, NY 10580

Scarsdale Public Library: 54 Olmstead Road, Scarsdale, NY 10583

John C. Hart Memorial Library: 1130 Main Street, Shrub Oak, NY 10588

Somers Library: Route 139, Reis Park, Somers, NY 10589

Lewisboro Library: 15 Main Street, South Salem, NY 10590

The Warner Library: 121 North Broadway, Tarrytown, NY 10591

Tuckahoe Public Library: 71 Columbus Avenue, Tuckahoe, NY 10707

White Plains Public Library: 100 Martine Avenue, White Plains, NY 10601

Yonker’s Public Libraries
Riverfront Library Branch: 1 Larkin Center, Yonkers, NY 10701
 
Grinton I. Will Branch: 1500 Central Park Avenue, Yonkers, NY 10710
 
Crestwood Branch: 16 Thompson Street, Yonkers, NY 10707

Happy Summer Reading!

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Leah lived in New York City for most of her life and moved to Westchester County in 2011 to blend and extend her family with an adorable high school Math teacher she met on Match.com. After 7 years of staying home and working part-time, she is back to the full time grind, commuting to the Bronx daily in her minivan a.k.a. trusty mommy wagon (this city girl’s first and only car). This full-time working, part-time blogging mother-of-4 seems to have it all together to the observer. In fact, part of this illusion is truly having the most amazingly resilient children a mother could ask for. Leah is an overthinking, jam pack the agenda, let loose when no one’s watching, be kind to your neighbor, sanity don’t fail me now kind of soul and she loves being a part of Westchester County Moms Blog. She strives to keep her kids super busy with a wide variety and good balance of academic, social, and athletic activities while desperately managing her home and budget.

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